Thursday, May 17, 2018

Scenes from Age 2.5

- Goomba on discovering that her toes got wrinkly from sitting in the bath: "My toes melted!"

- She asks questions now. "Are you finished your dinner, Mama? "Why you move my toy, Mama?" It's jarring, because I didn't realize that she didn't ask questions before. She indicated that she wanted to know what things were, but nothing more elaborate than that. Now she wants to know what I'm wearing, and why I’m doing every little thing, and, every night, whether I'm finished with my dinner yet, so she can decide on that basis whether she should be finished.

- Mistake: we discussed being fat in front of her, both how we are fat and how she is fat (she still has her big baby belly). She heard this, and now we have this exchange frequently:
Goomba (very proudly): I FAT!
Me: No, you're not fat.
Goomba: Daddy be fat?
Me: Daddy's a little bit fat.
Goomba: I want be fat too.
Me: No, you're not fat.
Goomba: Daddy be fat?
Me: Daddy is a little fat.
Goomba: I like daddy be fat.

- Other conversations:
Me: You’re going too slow; hurry up!
Goomba: I’m little. I need to go more slow.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018


When I was younger, I used to get the usual sex-enhancement email spam, but now nearly all the spam I get consists of solicitations to submit research to scam academic journals. There seem to be as many fake journals out there as penis-enlargers. Who would have thought?

Sunday, May 06, 2018

The American high school dream

It's been a while since I've discussed or even thought about academic impostors, but I think the overall argument of these two fascinating profiles of people who fraudulently posed as high school students in order high school students is that we should not criminalize posing as a high school student if the poser actually just wants to be a high school student. Yes, identity theft, etc. is bad. But if you feel like your life has dead-ended, and you want another chance and a clean slate, then, well, doesn't everyone in some ways? Objectively, like all impostors, these people are pretty pathetic. But, there have been about 20 romantic comedies made around this very premise, going back to high school to start over (or, in a modified version of the same premise, going to your high school reunion often has the same effect), so evidently the idea resonates widely with non-criminals. It's weird and wonderful that the American high school, for all its utter mediocrity, continues to command this kind of hold on our imaginations and aspirations.